By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn of Matchroom wasn’t too impressed with what he saw from Tyson Fury’s fight against the woeful looking Tom Schwarz last Saturday night on the Top Rank card on ESPN+ at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hearn said Schwarz (24-1, 16 KOs) looked so bad that he wouldn’t win a British or a European heavyweight title if he tried for those straps.
Hearn showed surprisingly a lot of restraint in not trashing Fury one hundred percent for how bad his opponent looked. He could have really emptied both barrels on Fury and Top Rank for his dreadful mismatch against Schwarz. Fury has dumped on Hearn fighter Anthony Joshua in the past plenty of times for his performances, and opposition.
This would have been the perfect opportunity for Hearn to get some payback in pointing out the obvious in how horrible Fury’s opponent looked. Joshua’s last opponent Andy Ruiz Jr. was supposed to have been an easy mark, but he pulled off a big upset in stopping him in the seventh round. However, Schwarz was nowhere near Ruiz’s level or even Dave Allen.
Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs), who lacks punching power, destroyed Schwarz in two rounds. The fight was completely noncompetitive from start to finish. Afterwards, Fury paraded around the ring, and sang to the crowd.
Hearn unimpressed with the Fury-Schwarz fight and the weak undercard
“What I say about Tyson Fury is congratulations; you made great money to fight someone that probably couldn’t win a European title, and I don’t think he could win a British title, Tom Schwarz,” said Hearn to IFL TV. “Tyson Fury is an amazing entertainer, he’s a great fighter. It was an exhibition, that’s what it was, and it was never going to be a competitive fight. There was no undercard whatsoever on the show. I don’t knock Tyson Fury. I think he’s great. He’s getting that kind of money to fight those kinds of opponents. Good luck to him.”
The idea for Top Rank obviously was to match Fury against a poor opponent with an impressive record for his first fight with them, and then steadily move him up. It would be risky and costly for Top Rank to match Fury against good opposition before his pay-per-view rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in 2020.
Fury vs. Schwarz undercard
The co-feature bout for the Fury vs. Schwarz card was the light heavyweight contest between Jesse Hart and Sullivan Barrera. It was a non-competitive mismatch involving two guys that will likely never win a world title at 175. Hart won the fight easily, but he didn’t show any signs that he’ll be able to beat a world champion in the light heavyweight division. He’s too easy to hit, and throws nothing but uppercuts.
Hart looked very one-dimensional. He can get away with fighting like that at 168, but not at 175. Those guys will take Hart apart if he comes out throwing 90% uppercut. It would have been nice if Top Rank put Hart in with a good contender like Marcus Browne, Callum Johnson or Eleider Alvarez. At least that would have been entertaining to the boxing fans. Considering how poor the main event fight was between Fury and Schwarz, it’s too bad Top Rank didn’t put together a good co-feature fight.
It was consecutive mismatches in the co-feature and the main event. The card lacked any drama to it whatsoever, and that was disappointing. In hindsight, the card arguably could have been done better. If Top Rank had worked with Hearn, they could have signed Joshua Buatsi or Callum Johnson as opponent for Hart to fight instead of the 37-year-old Barrera. Even Callum Smith would have been a vast improvement over Barrera.
Top Rank trying to turn Fury into a star the easy way
Fury’s new co-promoters at Top Rank Boxing are trying to build him up in America before they put him back in with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in early 2020. The best way to make Fury look sensational so the casual boxing fans will want to pay to see him face Wilder is to match him against weak opposition. That’s where Schwarz comes in. He was a guy with a terrible record filled with wins over poor opposition, and surprisingly the he was ranked #2 by the World Boxing Organization at the time.
Top Rank spotted Schwarz, and took advantage his unbeaten record and high ranking to setup a fight with Fury. Given Schwarz’s high ranking and unbeaten record, they were able to make him seem more credible in the eyes of the casual fans. The hardcore fans in the States obviously knew better, having seen Schwarz struggle against lesser opposition like Senad Gashi. Now that Fury has beaten one soft opponent in the U.S to help him get known better by the American fans, he’ll be back later this year in October or November in the States.
There’s talk that Fury will face someone a little bit better than Schwarz in his next showcase fight in the States, but we’ll have to see if that’s the case. Money will obviously be a factor in who Top Rank picks for Fury. Since they’re paying Fury top dollar for his contract with them, it likely limits the kind of opponents they can get for him in non-PPV fights. Matches against Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. would be pay-per-view events for Fury, but Top Rank can’t do that with his showcase fights against guys like Schwarz.